Monday, January 09, 2006

Flying Backwards

Ever feel like you're running in place?

I decided not to fly last night, even though it was nice and clear, mainly because of reports of severe turbulence from the surface to 6000 feet. Had I flown last night, I could've exploited one of the many wonders of flight, namely the difference between airspeed and ground speed.

Simply put, take an airplanes airspeed and add or subtract the speed of the air itself (wind) and you get your groundspeed. For example, last night, I could've climbed to 3000 feet, pointed myself into the wind, slowed the plane to 60 knots, and literally hovered over a single point on the ground.

Even better, I could've slowed to 50 knots, and flown backwards over the ground.

Gotta love physics.
posted by S.C. @ 10:33 AM |


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